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National WealthWhat is Missing, Why it Matters$
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Kirk Hamilton and Cameron Hepburn

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198803720

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198803720.001.0001

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The Economics of Sovereign Wealth Funds

The Economics of Sovereign Wealth Funds

(p.399) 18 The Economics of Sovereign Wealth Funds
National Wealth

Rolando Ossowski

Håvard Halland

Oxford University Press

Many countries have set up sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) as vehicles for public saving and wealth management. The majority are in resource-exporting countries; frequently stated objectives are macroeconomic and fiscal stabilization, intertemporal transfer of wealth, and national development. Some resource funds hold assets equivalent to several multiples of GDP, but many funds are relatively small. The evidence shows that the design and operation of an SWF can help or encumber economic management and wealth preservation. Poorly designed stabilization and saving funds without operational flexibility can be costly and interfere with wealth objectives. Many SWFs conduct domestic operations; this creates opportunities but also potentially serious risks to public wealth that must be addressed. Strong SWF governance and transparency are key to achieving sustainable performance and preventing political capture and misuse of public resources. While a number of funds have made progress in these areas, in others much remains to be done.

Keywords:   sovereign wealth fund, wealth management, saving, sustainable development, macroeconomic policy, fiscal policy, public finance, international financial markets, exhaustible resources, resource rich countries

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